From time to time people ask me if they can play with my ideas or whatever. The thing is that you can’t actually claim copyright on an idea or a theme. If you could — well TV would be SPARSE on the programming front and they would’ve stopped making movies shortly after my birth. Harry Potter isn’t the first kid to go to magical school. Ariel wasn’t the first (or the last) mermaid to fall in love with a human. Eragon wasn’t the first dude to live with his uncle (who was then murdered by a bad guy) only to find he had a secret sibling… (yeah, but Luke wasn’t the first one to do that either)… and later ride a dragon… Well, maybe in that particular order Eragon might be slightly unique but I wouldn’t bet my ass on it. He certainly isn’t the first or the last person to ride a dragon in fictional history. But then, you can’t even copyright a PLOT. Seriously, you can’t. Fern Gully = Avatar. Cinderella = Pretty Woman = practically every contemporary romance novel written in the 1980’s. CSI=NCIS=Bones=Hill Street Blues. Ya get what I mean, right?
So that’s it in a nutshell. While my words belong to me — my ideas really don’t from a legal perspective. With all that in mind here goes:
1. You can take my ideas and play with them at your leisure but don’t ever claim to have written a sequel or prequel to my work and I will never authorize an official OR condone unofficial continuation of any of my actual work. In fact, it would irritate me a great deal. In offering credit to me– you can say that my work inspired yours but do not claim that your work takes place within the confines of my work.
2. Some people write in my Ties That Bind Universe. They do this with permission and I often beta for them. Don’t trip out if you see it and that is done on an invitation-only basis.
3. If you want to “remix” my work– please don’t. This is practically plagiarism. I don’t dig it. In fact, I hate it. The one time I tried to read a remix of my own work–I was left sick to my stomach because the person in question had no respect for me, my work, or the world-building I created.
4. You cannot repost my work elsewhere or put it on an archive.
5. You cannot put my work in a ‘fanzine’ to sell for whatever reason.
6. The art on my site are gifts to me from my readers — please respect that and do not take their work to use for your own purposes and post it publicly!
7. Contact me directly about podfics as there are several authorized projects in progress and there would be no need for someone to duplicate.
8. If you use my original characters in your work, I expect full acknowledgment (with a link) in your author notes.
9. I no longer offer ebooks and no one has permission to create and distribute them on my behalf. If you see someone doing this, be assured that they are a stealing piece of shit with no respect for me and my work. This sort of intellectual property theft says a lot about them and none of it is good. These people are the reasons we can’t have nice things. I’d rather not hear about it because I can’t do jackshit about their disgusting behavior.
10. Some people have permission to translate my work into foreign languages. They post on Ao3 with me as a contributing author so I see when this happens. If you see someone posting a translation anywhere but ao3 that is not with my permission or on Ao3 without me as a contributor and I’d like to know.
11. Since it’s been asked a couple of times, in regards to academic work you have permission to use my work in academic papers and in classroom discussions. Fanfiction has gone so mainstream so it’s easy to see how it’s creeping into classrooms. I’ve done a couple of interviews for essays, papers, and two dissertations so I’m available for that as well.
NOTE: The BDSM Universe concept that I used in Ties That Bind was created by Xanthe. Check out her page for information.
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If you use my ideas — a link back to my site AND a comment here would be very appreciated but it isn’t necessary. I’m not going to cry about it. My Give A Fuck’s been broken since I was 24. (Don’t you dare speculate on how long that’s fucking been!)